"Bureaucracy is a a construction by which a person is conveniently separated from the consequences of his or her actions." What a poetic quote. Nassim Taleb is a polarising figure; yet there is no doubt that he is on top form in Skin In The Game. Less academic and mathematical heavy than some of his … Continue reading Skin in the Game
The Cryptonomicon (also sometimes referred to as the Old Testament of the contemporary crypto community, I title it competes for with The Sovereign Individual) was apparently "required reading" for Elon Musk and Peter Thiel's team members in the early days of PayPal. After reading the book myself, this is an urban legend I am inclined … Continue reading The Cryptonomicon
Money gets surreal when it becomes untethered from reality; and a lot of strange financial wizardry began decoupling real value and nominal financial money in and around the 1970's. The website wfthappendin1978.com tells the story in pictures, in a series of economic charts that illustrate better than a thousand essays would, what happens when the rules … Continue reading WTF Happened in the 1970s?
“Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.” ~ Milton Friedman Right now, Modern Monetary Theory (aka Magic Money Theory, aka MMT aka a new branding for monetary stimulus) as popularised by Stephanie Kelton’s The … Continue reading The Deficit Myth (and the Free Lunch Fantasy) of MMT
I have an affinity for dark Soviet humour. There is a lot we can learn from those who have been through the dark places we are headed towards. One such old joke runs as follows: A hare is running frantically though a forest. A bear stops him and asks, "Why are you running?". The hare … Continue reading The Hare and the Camel
"The winner takes it all" ~ ABBA The quote above really sums up the near-term effects of the combined COVID-19 and social crises on the 2020s ahead. I was recently asked to submit a chapter to Aftershocks and Opportunities, and I wrote on exactly that; how crises highlight and amplify the deep-seated cracks and devastating … Continue reading The Winner Takes it All
Robert Nozick's 1974's Anarchy, State and Utopia deserves a re-read right now. As the long-suppressed cracks begin to open in the WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Developed) world, we are forced to face the scaling problems of party-politics democracy; and to begin to seriously consider the alternatives on offer. Common logic (of the upper … Continue reading Anarchy, State and Utopia
From my perspective, all the many trends that I track are linked in one way or a another to four overarching, civilisation-level, end-game "meta trends". Of course, all four of these meta trends are themselves interlinked and interactive, and can be envisaged as four oscillating cyclical waves that pull together, pull apart and underwrite the … Continue reading Meta Trends and Far Future Visions
If you are a futurist, you should be watching the sex industry. The world's oldest industry is full of shiny new ideas and quick to adopt new trends and technologies. It's also very flexible. (Puns all fully intended). I wrote in more detail about this subject here. Enjoy.
As I've said before, reading books is the fastest way to absorb information (until we succeed in connecting ourselves to a global Brainternet, but that's cheating, and it's not quite possible yet either). I read a fair amount and I'm often asked how I do it. It's not hard, really. If you can make time … Continue reading How to Read More